In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. Psalm 71
I always tell my unchurched friends (who respect what I do for a living, but don’t quite understand it) that Holy Week is my Big Week. Then I add as though only I know just how funny I am “it’s Jesus Big Week too.” In my defense, for a parish minister, Holy Week truly is The Big Week. But this particular Holy Week is bigger than usual. As we follow Jesus to the cross and then to the empty tomb, we follow the United States Supreme Court in its own version of death and resurrection. On Tuesday, the court will hear arguments considering the constitutionality of California’s gay marriage ban, Proposition 8. The next day, the court will hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The timing of these two cases could not have been better. They remind us that Holy Week is about justice. Jesus was executed because he stood up for the oppressed and defended the disenfranchised. If Jesus had not challenged the religious leaders, if he had not questioned the social order, he probably would have died quietly of old age. Instead he died on a cross. Not for our sins, but because of our sins. This Holy Week, we will watch and wait to see if our own country will make right a long held injustice—the denial of marriage to our gay brothers and sisters.
Let us pray for the death of an old order and the resurrection of what is new and good.
May Your Week be Holy,
(look for a meditation from Pastor Jane everyday this week)